Mourinho ends interest in 12-goal Guardiola target with United targeting £21m DMC
Manchester United have ended their interest in AS Monaco midfielder Fabinho after earlier reports suggested that the Red Devils were in advanced talks to bring the Brazilian, who was also linked to Manchester City, to Old Trafford this summer.
Jose Mourinho has made signing a defensive midfielder a priority this summer and has been linked with a number of players since the end of the season. Fabinho, who was primarily a right-back, was played exclusively as a defensive midfielder by Leonardo Jardim last season and excelled in his new position.
The Brazil international scored 12 goals and provided six assists helping Monaco to their first Ligue 1 title in 20 years while they also made the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Principality club’s achievements last season has seen a number of clubs sit up and take notice of the talent on offer.
The 23-year-old midfielder is one among a number of players that have been linked with moves away from the Principality. Fabinho has expressed an interest to play in the Premier League in the past and identified United as his dream club in the English top-flight.
It was reported that the 20-time English champions had beaten off competition from interested clubs and were in an advanced stage in wrapping up a move for Fabinho. However, the Manchester Evening News reports that Mourinho has ended any interest the club had in signing the deep lying midfielder and switched targets to Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier.
The Portuguese manager is said to prefer reuniting with the Serbian midfielder, whom he re-signed for Chelsea from Benfica in 2014 for a reported fee of £21m. Matic is also said to be open to a move to Old Trafford to play under his former manager, but any deal will depend on Chelsea agreeing to sell to their direct rival.
Antonio Conte’s side are pursuing a deal for AS Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko and Mourinho’s successful capture of Matic will depend on the Blues’ success in luring the French midfielder to Stamford Bridge. The Red Devils have already made progress in the market having wrapped up a deal for Victor Lindelof and are reportedly close to securing moves for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.